Young and Pressured | of purposelessness

For explanation of this series, see this post. For series post one, see here. For background on why I'm writing this series, see my Rebelution article

<< In Pursuit of the Good Life | two >>

Our three clear, glass plates sat onto the grey-brown dining center tables in the back room. We were across from the windows, and I was looking for windows into the issues of my mind and heart.

I'd met both of them early last year: one from the friend of a friend of an art friend, and the other the friend of the first. Fast forward a year and a half, a Cold Stone honors seminar run and Student Government campaigning cookies later, we'd learned more about life as we did it together.

"Do you think you, or people you know, have experienced this immense pressure to change the world? How do you think it affects them?"

She shifted her fork against the sun-yellow pineapple and grass-green kiwi. She spoke of motives and missions, guilt and comfort, co-opts and shame cover-ups. One word stuck out amid the piles of discomfortable realities.

"I think our peers feel purposeless."


Purposeless, amid a reality of the purposeful life that we are supposed to be living: the pressure to live the sold-out "good life."

Reality is, I don't think this is because we do not know about a purpose: to know God and make Him known, to not waste a single minute of our life in pursuit of this sold-out good life.

I think that what we are actually missing is practicals.

  • We want to change the world, but sometimes we have no idea how to tangibly get started.
  • We want to be all-in for Jesus, but we see how often we are sinful and sometimes can't seem to see how to ever accomplish anything big.
  • We are obsessed with the big, but we see that our life often isn't big; we don't know how the smalls matter or how to "make them matter."

The sold-out, "good life" pressure is resulting in the opposite of what it could. 

Instead of fueling us with purpose, it's making people feel purposeless. They don't feel like they know how to practically live with such purpose. All they see is that they don't feel like they are "making it"; they must, then, be living without the purpose actually meeting their life.

This pressure > purpose > practicals continuum is meaning that we are living without more. 

We are being robbed of many pleasures of the dailies, of knowing God and making Him known as we are known by Him. This means we are getting caught up in our own frustration at our lives, and our presence is being taken out of the present as we forget to rely on the Presence.

This, my friends, is a painful problem.

© 2016 Deborah Hope Shining
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  1. This is so great! That last point about wanting to do the big is so important. People often want to make a huge impact, and I think these intentions behind this desire are not always pure. People want to do big things so that they will be remembered. But it's about our God being remembered and about his doing the big things. He accomplishes big impacts through our small daily obedient acts.

  2. Deborah!
    I loved your descriptive imagery in the first few paragraphs. I totally agree with you that I think a lot of the people in our generation are unmotivated and purposeless & it's super disheartening to see. How do you think we remedy that apathy?


I definitely don't want this to be a monologue. What are your thoughts? Questions? Ideas?